A fortnightly column from Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes.
It’s a spectacular start. $26 million from the NSW government for our aquatic, arts and leisure centre at Mackay Park in Batemans Bay. We’re now counting on the Federal government to pitch in, and we expect to hear the results of our funding submission by the middle of the year. In the meantime, we’re working to be as ready as we can to start building the centre after funding is secured.
We’ll soon invite the architects we’ve shortlisted to submit tenders for the design of the new centre. I can’t wait to see what our chosen architect will come up with, and everyone in the community will have an opportunity to have their say about the designs (there’ll be a few options) before a final design is chosen.
While the final design is months away, we do know the components we plan to provide. The arts area will offer a vibrant program of exhibitions and shows and a centre for local artists. Our focus will be on a quality space with the right configuration for a range of performance styles, with excellent lighting, sound and seating, along with a gallery area, rehearsal space and arts workshop rooms.
In the aquatics area, a 25 metre by 10-lane pool will cater for lap swimmers. Learn to swim classes - vital for a coastal community like ours - will have a separate pool heated to the right temperature, while another warm-water therapy pool will cater for people with limited mobility or rehabilitating. The water splash area and water slide will be a huge attraction.
Some people don’t support Council’s plans to demolish the 50-metre pool, but we’re replacing it with something so much better that everyone in our community can benefit from year-round. The pool is aging, beginning to fail, and only open half the year. It doesn’t meet disability access or water filtration requirements, or competition standards. With councillors and staff, I have visited aquatic centres around NSW and Canberra as part our fact-finding, and the consistent message from the industry is that we’re on the money with our approach.
I’ve had lots of people tell me they can’t wait to have somewhere to take their kids to learn to swim and to play, and that the centre will be a fantastic place to take friends here on holidays. It’s such an exciting opportunity for our community and we will get it done.
Our website has lots more information about the proposed centre at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/mackaypark. If you’d like to get in touch with questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clr Liz Innes